NEW YORK: Donald Trump’s tweets antagonise, insult and drive headlines around the world. Now, they’re on display at a tongue-in-cheek presidential Twitter library a stone’s throw from his New York home.
Comedy Central’s The Daily Show hosted by Trevor Noah, emboldened by soaring ratings since Trump took office, put together the one weekend only, free of charge pop-up exhibition to lampoon the president and make visitors think.
From Friday until Sunday, members of the public are invited to stroll through The Donald J. Trump Presidential Twitter Library, soak up some of his most notorious tweets, and fire off one or two of their own from a golden toilet.
“He is a damn fine Twitterer,” South African comedian Noah told reporters. “Never before has a president been so transparent, and at the same time so opaque.”
Many Americans may already feel saturated by coverage of the president’s tweets, which have seen him attack Barack Obama, political rivals, London’s mayor and wade in on celebrities’ love lives.
But the exhibition seeks to squeeze out every ounce of nuance from Trump’s love for the 140-character medium, his preferred way to communicate with supporters, bypassing traditional media and even his own White House spokespeople.
The concept is a play on the US tradition of every president since Franklin D. Roosevelt establishing a post-tenure memorial library, housing documents of values from their administrations.
It’s also another vehicle for comedians to poke fun at a presidency that has boosted comedy show ratings and invigorated careers, Noah’s included.
There’s a screen with Trump’s Twitter feed, which will emit a siren when he tweets, and gaudy faux gold frames – art museum style – encasing some of his most famous missives.
There’s a map of the world flagging up country-specific tweets, data crunched to reveal that Obama was his most often attacked Twitter foe and his tweets propagating the myth that America’s first black president was born in Kenya.There are also interactive exhibits.
But is it too much?
“I think people will find a way to cathartically laugh at the stress we all feel,” says Hasan Minhaj, a Daily Show correspondent.
The exhibition opens amid debate about whether Trump’s tweets should be included under the Presidential Records Act.
Democratic Congressman Mike Quigley has introduced the so-called COVFEFE Act, a reference to Trump’s most famous typo yet, when last month he mysteriously tweeted from his personal account: “Despite the constant negative press covfefe.”
“We must ensure that these statements are documented and preserved for future reference,” Quigley said Monday. “Tweets are powerful, and the president must be held accountable for every post.”